Local News

Mangum found guilty in boyfriend's stabbing death

Posted November 22, 2013 12:46 p.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2013 5:48 p.m. EST

— Most widely known as the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape, Crystal Mangum will now be known as a convicted killer.

A seven-man, five-woman jury found Mangum, 34, guilty of second-degree murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of her boyfriend, 46-year-old Reginald Daye. He died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.

Mangum claimed the stabbing was a case of self-defense, saying Daye was beating her in a jealous rage when she grabbed a knife and "poked him in the side."

Jurors deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching their verdict. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway then sentenced her to 170 to 216 months in prison.

Daye's family asked for the maximum sentence for Mangum, saying Daye was a good man whom Mangum mistreated.

"Reggie deserved to be here with us. He didn't deserve the type of treatment that happened to him," Shantia Lawrence, Daye's sister, told Ridgeway in court. "He was very cared for, very loved, and he was a loving person."

Later, Daye's relatives expressed relief at the conclusion of the case.

"We are just so overwhelmed," cousin Tracey Daye-Wilson said. "I thank God the jury made the correct decision, and we are just very happy."

Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom when she was performing as a stripper at a team party and raped and sexually assaulted her. Her story about the incident was so inconsistent that Attorney General Roy Cooper later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

The Duke case was barely mentioned during the trial, but Mangum's supporters believe her past – she also was convicted in a 2010 domestic case involving a previous boyfriend – played a part in Friday's verdict.

"I feel like the verdict wasn't based on the evidence presented. It's based on what is perceived to be her past indiscretions," Jackie Wagstaff said.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks, who painted Mangum as a violent abuser during the trial, disagreed with the notion that anti-Mangum sentiment in the community led to the verdict.

"Whatever happened as far as Duke lacrosse or anything else, it was not about that. It was not about 'THE Crystal Mangum.' It was about Reginald Daye and what occurred April 3, 2011," Franks said. "Reginald Daye finally got justice today. The family got justice."

Defense attorney Daniel Meier said he was disappointed the jury didn't agree with Mangum's self-defense argument, and he plans to appeal the conviction.

On Wednesday, Mangum tearfully described how Daye became enraged when she started talking to a police officer she knew as the couple returned to their Durham apartment after a party.

She said he cursed her, hit her and choked her, then kicked open a bathroom door as she tried to hide and dragged her out by her hair.

A police investigator who interviewed Daye in the hospital before he died testified Tuesday that he told her he had ordered Mangum out of the apartment because he was tired of her bringing over other men. He acknowledged kicking open the bathroom door and dragging her by her hair, but he said he was trying to get away from her during the argument when she stabbed him.

"The fact that we are all here, it's not because someone murdered her boyfriend. It's because Crystal Mangum was charged with murdering her boyfriend," Meier said.

Jurors acquitted Mangum of two counts of larceny. Authorities alleged that she stole two money orders, totaling $700, from Daye after she stabbed him.